Rio Olympic bronze-winning Australian team mates, Shane Rose and Chris Burton, ensured their nation dominated the Event Rider Masters series this weekend by filling the first two spots in Leg 6. It’s the first time Australia has featured on the ERM podium this year.
Shane and the 17.2hh Virgil III won, in a competition that saw the leaderboard dramatically change across each phase. Ninth after dressage, Shane started the cross-country in third place after a clear round in the show jumping earlier on Sunday. This phase proved quite a challenge, with only seven clears inside the time, and the top three after dressage all collecting eight or more show jumping penalties. These included Sir Mark Todd, who had been lying second, but knocked down several fences. He elected to withdraw Kiltubrid Rhapsody after that phase rather than start the cross-country.
Shane and Virgil put in an impressive, very accurate and strong cross-country round, adding just 2.8 time penalties and finishing on a score of 45.9. Only Chris Burton was faster (0.8 time penalties), enhancing his reputation as the fastest cross-country rider in the world.
Tim Price was also fast with Cekatinka: 5.2 time faults and a great jumping exhibition. The pair ended up in fifth place.
Shane, a cancer survivor, has recovered from multiple riding injuries, including having his face reconstructed after a kick to the head. He also breaks in racehorses for a living at his home in New South Wales. This year he has spent the Northern eventing season competing on the British and European circuits. He has been based with fellow Australian rider Sam Griffiths, who he dedicated his ERM win to.
“Virgil felt like he was finding the ground tough in parts of the cross country, but once we were in the woods where there was a firm base he got his wind back and then travelled really well and galloped home nicely,” says Shane. “It’s one of the best rides I’ve had on him. He’ll now head back to Australia, so it’s a great note for him to finish his Northern Hemisphere trip on.”
It was a great weekend for Shane at Blair Castle: he also won the CCI2* on Sam Griffith’s Gurtera Cher. Sam is recovering from a neck injury and Shane has done a great job riding many of his horses lately.
We look forward to seeing Shane competing on this side of the world again, especially at Adelaide against the many Kiwis who are planning to tackle the 4* in November.
Gemma Tattersall was the dominant performer in the 2017 ERM series, delivering top ten finishes in all five of the legs she has competed in. She has ridden four different horses across the series this year, winning Leg 1 with Quicklook V and Leg 5 with Arctic Soul. This weekend, she secured fourth place on Pamero 4 with a score of 53.7pen, after double clears in the show jumping and cross-country, adding 11.2 time penalties to her dressage score. With 108 points, Gemma cannot now be caught in the series and will take home the £30,000 cheque from next month’s final at Blenheim Palace. It is her first ERM win.
An elated Gemma says: “I decided to the target the ERM series at the end of last year. I had a plan of which horses I was hoping to ride at each leg, but I’ve had to be flexible as things often happen with horses to change the situation. I’m delighted how it’s panned out and how all the horses have performed. This series makes us really compete, and I don’t come to a leg just to canter round, I arrive with the aim to finish on the podium.”
“Pamero 4 is a recently-new ride for me and he has been produced perfectly by Laura Collett. I’m very happy with him and how he’s performed this weekend and all year. He has given his very best across all three phases and I feel there is more to come from him.”